Saturday, January 3, 2015

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi or Mawlid: The Birthday of Prophet Mohammed

Eid e Milad | Milad an Nabi | Eid e Milad un Nabi | Mawlid: Birth of prophet Muhammad
Mawlid or Eid e Milad: Birth of prophet Muhammad

Eid-e-Milad | Milad an-Nabi | Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi | Mawlid

Eid e Milad un Nabi or Mawlid is the birthday of Mohammed, the prophet who is the founder of Islam, known to the world through the holy book Koran. The day comes on Rabi' al-awwal, Islamic calendar's third month which means the spring has commenced. The months of Islamic calendar begin on the sight of new moon's first crescent. Because Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi falls in Rabi' al-awwal, it's believed to be a blessed month.

Islam: Shia and Sunni

Islam has two major denominations: Shia and Sunni. About 85 to 90 percent of the Muslims of this world are Sunni; rest are Shia.

Shia Islam and Eid-e-Milad

The Muslims belonging to Shia are also known as Twelvers which refers to Twelve Imams who are prophet Mohammed's political and spiritual successors.

Shia Muslims believe that Mohammed had born on the dawn of Muslim calendar's 17th.

Sunni Islam and Eid-e-Milad

Sunni and Sunnism terms are derived from Sunnah, which refers to usual practices, habits, tradition or customs. Muslims consider the term for habits or sayings of Mohammed, the prophet. People belonging to Sunni Islam do not perform any action or possess any belief against prophetic Sunnah. Those who follows them and indeed specializes in prophetic Sunnah, is called Sunnist.

Sunni Muslims believe that Mohammed had born on the dawn of Muslim calendar's 12th.


The observance of Mohammed's birthday is known as Mawlid, which is a word derived from the term with Arabic root. It means to give birth or to bear a child.

The festival of prophet's birth is known as Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi and Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawi in Urdu and Arabic respectively. The day of the prophet in Arabic is called Yawm an-Nabi.

In Malay, the birth of Allah's Messenger is called Maulidur-Rasul.
The 'birth of the prophet' is known as different terms in diversified locations and languages such as:

Mawlud or Mawlid an-Nabi: Arabic
Milad an-Nabi: Urdu
Muled en-Nabi or el Muled or en-Nabawi: Egyptian
Eid-e-Meeladun Nabi: Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, South India
Maulid Nabi: Indonesian
Maulidi: Swahili, Hausa
Maulud Nabi: Malaysian

This birth of prophet is observed as a blessed event, and the term 'Blessed Birth' is known as:
Mawlud-e Sharif: Urdu (Dari)
Mawlid en-Nabaoui Echarif: Algerian
Mevlud or Mevlid: Bosnian
Mevlid-i Serif: Turkish
Mevlydi: Albanian
Milad-e Payambar-e Akram: Persian

The great prophet's birth is known as Nabi or Mahanabi Jayanti in Sanskrit and South Indian terminology. Here 'Maha' refers to 'great'.

The 'birth' has also its terms:
el Muled: Tunisian Arabic
Mulud: Javanese

Islamic Unity Week

Shia and Sunni believe Mohammed to be born on 17th and 12th day of Rabi' al-awwal respectively. To give respect to both of the denominations, the days from 12 to 17 of Rabi' al-awwal are assigned as Islamic Unity Week by Islamic Republic of Iran, which brings scholars and followers at common ground.

Celebration of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi 

Mawlid or Eid-e-Milad is celebrated as performing a sacred practice. The ritual celebration of Mawlid is observed in carnival manner. Mosques and homes are embellished and huge street processions are performed. Eatables are distributed and charity or donation is given. Not only elders, but the children also play their part by narrating the stories of Mohammed's life in poetic forms. The rationale of the celebration resides in expressing the love for prophet Mohammed.

Mawlid Texts

Mawlid is also referred as the recited or sung texts that contain the life events or stories related to Muhammad.

Eid Milad-un-Nabi: Celebration in Pakistan

The day is considered as a public hodiday in Pakistan. Processions and celebrations are made with hoisting the national flag on public buildings. The salute of 31 gun in Islamabad and 21 guns in capitals are fired at the time of dawn. Not only public buildings, but private residence is also illuminated and decorated with Fairy lights. Rabi-ul-Awwal's 11th and 12th day becomes special for cinemas too as they screen religious films. Huge mass mark the presence at Lahore's Minar-e-Pakistan on 11th and 12th intervening night. This contribution for Mawlid celebration is one of the biggest gatherings. The popularity of this practice is seen in South Asia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh in Urdu and Punjabi. At many places, this turns a week long celebration. The events include chanting and singing too, welcoming and praising Muhammad in honor of his birthday.  

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